Virtual Children's Books Exhibits


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Wild Things

Beatrix Potter



9.  Changing Pictures: A Book of Transformation Pictures.
George Henry Thompson, illustrator.
London: Ernest Nister/ New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., [not after 1893].

Mamma Tabbykins is an ineffectual disciplinarian like the Old Woman in the Shoe, who had so many children she didn't know what to do. In this mechanical illustration, the mother cat bursts through the bedroom door to discover a wild rumpus in progress. When the tab at the lower edge of the plate is pulled, the picture changes into another that shows the school master soundly whipping the naughty kittens for not having learned their lessons.

The resemblance between this picture of Mamma Tabbykins and the one of Tabitha Twitchit by Beatrix Potter shown in number 10 may not be a coincidence. As one of Potter's earliest published book illustrations appeared on the front board of Changing Pictures, perhaps she had seen this one by George Henry Thompson, who signed the school scene with his initials.